Writing Cards – Christmas Cards for ESOL, ESL and EFL

 

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Can’t be bothered to read the post – Click here for the lesson on Writing Cards

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Sending cards is an enourmous business in the UK and the USA with the average person spending way too much time and money on them. There’s also a lot of social pressure to send and receive them especially at Christmas time. Who hasn’t been presented with a card for someone who is leaving the office, sick or getting married, and thought ‘I don’t know what to write!’?

It’s also pretty difficult for ESOL/EFL and second language English learners to write them to. I used this lesson with a group of pre-intermediate learners.

Here are the lesson stages

1. Ask the students to tell you when they last recieved a card of any description. Write a list of the cards they tell you about on the board. It might look something like this. Anniversary, wedding, congratulations, birthday, valentines, get well soon, sorry, condolences…

2. Pass out the sheet and have the students correct the mistakes then match the card messages to the people they are for.

3. Now ask students to write their own messages in response to the prompts. You could ask them to work in pairs or alone and could check the answers by getting to write on the board.

4. There are some really good electronic greetings cards on the net. You might like to show these to your students if you have an interactive whiteboad or projector.

http://www.jacquielawson.com/

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Big list of antonyms for academic English : IELTS, TOEFL and TOIEC

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Here’s a great list of academic antonyms to help you with your IELTS speaking and writing.

Lists are great, but how can you use them? Do you learn them? Do you just read them? What do you do? Read the advice below.

  1. Read through this list and circle 10-15 antonym pairs that you don’t know and learn them. Test yourself on them.
  2. Read through the list. Choose ten hard pairs you don’t know, print them off and stick them on your wall / toilet wall / fridge door – anywhere you will look, often
  3. Play a game with them like the awesome word frog game http://www.arcademics.com/games/frog/frog.html
  4. Play pelmanism. Choose ten you think are useful. Write them on small pieces of paper. Put them face down on a table. Now turn each one over and try to match the pairs.

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Halloween worksheets for your English class

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://chrisspeck.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/halloween.doc

If you live in the UK or the USA, the end of October means more little kids dressed as skeletons knocking on your door and screaming ‘trick or treat’ before you dish out the sweets.

Here’s an old favourite that I’ve used on Hallowe’en for many years. If you don’t want to make the first worksheet too easy, then cut off the bottom section so they don’t have the names of the halloween creatures to help them. It’s worth remembering that these monsters play a very big part in UK and US culture, so this might be a really good lesson for higher level students, especially when they have to discuss what the various monsters do.

Chatting about superstitions in the second worksheets is also very interesting and whilst some are the same the world over, others are very strange.

Here’s the lesson https://chrisspeck.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/halloween.doc

There’s another lesson on Vampires here:

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and a lesson on Zombies here:

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and if you like superheroes, there’s a lesson on them here:

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Halloween English – The Vampire Lesson

Here’s another lesson for your ESOL, ESL or EFL students tapping the now mainstream interest in Vampires. Get the worksheet straight away by clicking here – https://chrisspeck.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/the-vampire-lesson.doc

Whether your students enjoyed the seminal video game Vampire: The Masquerade – bloodlines a few years ago or they enjoy The Twilight series of films or the TV shows True Blood or The Vampire Diaries, this lesson might be up their street.

Not everyone likes vampires, so I’d suggest you be careful with this one. Don’t use it with kids or those that are easily offended. Culturally, these kind of vampires are very ‘western’ and so if your students are not familiar with modern, American mythology then this probably won’t work. The Chinese have their own versions of vampires and so do a lot of other cultures…

There’s no special way to run the lesson, just follow the activities on the worksheet. There are broken lines around the worksheet so you can cut the sections up with a pair of scissors if you don’t want students to do it all at once.

Here’s the worksheet again – https://chrisspeck.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/the-vampire-lesson.doc


IELTS, TOEFL Academic reading: Read quicker! I need more time!

 

There’s not enough time!

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If only I had more time…I could do better if I had more time. I need more time.

Slow down! There are no short cuts!

Academic reading tests are hard because they don’t give you much time. You need to be able to read faster! Here are three simple tips that will help you read more quickly.

1. Change your way of thinking.

If you want to succeed you will have to ENJOY READING.

Read something you like – do you like football? Aeroplanes? Video Games?

FIND SOMETHING YOU LIKE TO READ!

2. You will only get better at reading if you READ!

Read 1 article a day for 15 minutes. Try this for a month.

No excuses!

You can find good, free articles here.

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3. Learn to skim and scan

Reading techniques help you find information quickly.

Download our worksheet here.

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For more help with academic reading. Check out Richard L King’s book Teach Yourself IELTS reading.

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The top ten idioms in English – IELTS /TOEFL / TOIEC speaking!

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I’ve done no research on this and so, there is no way  I can be sure that these are the top ten idioms used in English.

Adding idioms to your spoken language will make you sound more natural and more like a native speaker. But PLEASE DON’T use them all the time!

Choose two or three idioms that you like and remember them. Use them at the right time and don’t try to force them into every sentence.

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Answers:

1.g 2.j 3.a 4.i 5.b 6.h 7.c 8.d 9. f 10.e

Check out Richard King’s book for more help with your IELTS exams!

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Improve your IELTS and TOEFL reading: One article a day. No excuses.

The Olympics in Brazil made me think about training. Sorry if this sounds a bit angry!

Your brian is a muscle.

You need to train it.

The reading section of the IELTS exam is the hardest section because you need to be well trained at reading and have a huge vocabulary.

Here’s the training.

Choose the first article from the fantastic Guardian Weekly, an international broadsheet.  https://www.theguardian.com/weekly

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One article a day. No excuses.

If you have a study partner. Get them to read it to and then TALK ABOUT it.

Read it in less than ten minutes.

Do not check all the words in the dictionary BUT if you feel there is an important word you should know then please do CHECK.

Do it everyday. No excuses.

but it’s boring…I have other work to do…I’m hungry…it’s late…I have to have some fun sometimes.

Success is your choice.

Please let me know how you get on!

For more help with your IELTS reading. Try Richard L King’s book.

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